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Four non-cardio movements to boost fat loss results

Marines demonstrate a "burpee" exercise
Marines demonstrate a "burpee" exercise
Wikimedia Commons

If you’re like most people in this world, there is one element of your workout program that you strongly dislike doing – cardio training.

Apart from a few rare people who simply love getting on the cardio machines and going at it, some even do it at work, most people could do without. Cardio training does tend to be rather boring and repetitive, and when it comes right down to it, isn’t all that good for getting results either.

In fact, most cardio training workouts will leave you tired, with little metabolic improvement, and without much of a challenge for your muscles. All in all, cardio is simply not ideal as far as your fat loss progress is concerned. That’s why it’s important that you consider moving away from cardio machines and do something else with your training that will help you push the barriers of your success.

That’s where the following four non-cardio movements come into play. Each of these can easily be done between weight lifting sets or just as part of their own workout program. The trick when selecting non-cardio machine activities to use for cardio purposes is to make sure that they are stimulating as many body parts as possible while also getting your heart rate up and keeping it there for as long as possible as well.

Let’s have a look at the top four non-cardio movements that you should consider doing as part of your workout program.


This very first cardio movement is one that most people do know all too well and that’s burpees. Burpees are excellent because they are a fantastic way to strengthen the quads, glutes, as well as the core, and are also going to tap into building your explosive power as well.

Burpees are great for working the lower body on upper body days, but do be careful about adding these if you’re doing a full body workout as they may begin to decrease your performance on lower body weight lifting activities.

It’s very important that you are making sure to lift as heavy as possible on lower body movements and if you’re doing burpees between sets of squats for instance, the chances that you are lifting heavy are going to be relatively slim.

Instead, keep burpees to upper body days only or when doing a strictly cardio session.

Aim for 10-20 in a row before resting and repeating once more through.

Mountain Climbers

Next up you have mountain climbers. Mountain climbers are going to slightly stress the upper body as well as the lower body, but most importantly, they’re going to seriously work the core muscles. If you want a set of flat abs, mountain climbers are there to help.

Mountain climbers again can be used between weight lifting sets for either the upper or the lower body. The only one exercise you may want to avoid doing before launching into a set of mountain climbers is shoulder press.

Mountain climbers are especially going to stress the shoulders, so if you are pre-fatiguing these directly beforehand, you’ll likely tire out those muscles before you get much cardiovascular benefits from them.

Ideally the best exercises to perform before mountain climbers would be bent over rows, chest press, hamstring curls, or deadlifts.


Moving along, the next cardio activity that is really good for burning up body fat quickly is skipping. When done intensely enough, skipping is comparable to that of fast paced running for getting your heart rate up higher, so will easily get you into better shape in a hurry.

Skipping can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any fancy equipment apart from a skipping rope, so it is ideal for those who do want a more complete workout session.

With just 20 minutes of skipping, you’ll mimic an interval training running workout, which is one of the most ideal forms of workout sessions for increasing your metabolic rate while burning up fat rapidly.

The other really great thing about skipping is that it’s going to help to improve both your upper as well as lower body muscular strength due to the fact that you are moving both areas of the body as you complete the activity.

Skipping can take a bit of time to get used to, however, as it does require far more coordination than many other exercises, so just be sure that you do have some patience with yourself as you go about your skipping.

Don’t expect to skip continuously for 10 minutes when you first start going – even those who are in supreme optimal conditioning may not be able to do this.

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are the next cardio based movement to consider adding to your workouts. These are ideal for boosting your explosive power as well and will target all the same muscle groups as regular squats.

Squat jumps are going to get your heart rate up quite high and keep it there for an extended period of time after the set, provided you work hard enough.

The key thing to remember when doing your squat jumps is that you do move as low to the ground as possible before launching up into the air. Doing this will ensure full glute muscle activation, which is what you want to transform your lower body.

Some people only go part of the way down, which means that they are shorting themselves of the results that they otherwise could see.

So there you have some of the top non-cardio exercises that you can use as you go about your plan. Use these insights to help boost your rate of progress and get out of having to do hours and hours on cardio equipment. If you think outside the box and make sure any exercises you are doing are going to target a sufficient intensity level, you will see results from including them in your plan.

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